August 2010 (22)
Aug 31 2010 2:34PM
Being locked up for saying the wrong thing
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has at times blurted out an inappropriate remark or two. Never intended to be harmful or malicious, but sometimes it’s just the wrong thing. For example when meeting the brother of one of my friends fo...
Aug 27 2010 4:46PM
France Expels Roma despite outrage
France continues with the expulsion of Roma people into eastern Europe, despite a growing tide of outrage against this targeting of a particular ethnic group. The French Minister of immigration Eric Besson has announced that around 250...
Aug 26 2010 3:37PM
Edin to London: Roadkill wins Freedom of Expression Award 2010
I’ve just got back to the Edinburgh office from the ceremony to announce the 2010 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, and can happily announce that Cora Bissett’s ‘Roadkill’ was the winner. The play tackles the issue of...
Aug 25 2010 11:50AM
The governments Selfish behaviour on arms to Saudi Arabia
Sometimes it takes a twist to make something appealing, and one heavyweight TV programme that still sticks in my mind is the Will Self-fronted investigation into Britain’s arms industry from 2002. Though I’m no fan of his novels (his N...
Aug 24 2010 6:21PM
Vedanta undermined! Tribal people victorious in India
Good news from the world of mining isn’t just coming in the form of improvised telephones for trapped miners in Chile. Today we learned that the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests has rejected a mining project proposed by UK-ba...
Aug 23 2010 2:46PM
Exposing Japan's deadly secret
In a bid to expose its execution practice, Japan will allow journalists to visit its Tokyo chamber of death for the first time. Richard Lloyd Parry in The Times reports that ‘executions are a mixture of the chilling and the incongruous...
Aug 20 2010 4:54PM
Fearful symmetry: why Saudi Arabia should end cruel punishments
In the past it’s been the gouging out of an eye or the extraction of a tooth. Now it’s the severing of spinal column. The Saudi justice system’s willingness to countenance extreme and cruel punishments is once again in the news after a...
Aug 19 2010 5:13PM
Pimp my profile: trafficking figures debate missing the point
Yesterday’s Association of Chief Police Officers report into so-called “off-street' prostitution threw up a new – and already much-discussed – figure of 2,600 women and girls trafficked into forced prostitution in England and Wales. Th...
Aug 18 2010 7:41PM
Tainting the brand: the Taliban take PR back to the stone age
If the Taliban were a product PR companies would be studying their tactics. Because they’ve certainly got massive “brand awareness”. Aside from al-Qaida (and maybe not even them), they’re surely the most talked about armed group in the...
Aug 18 2010 4:01PM
Non! Not good enough, Mr Castro!
As a wee young thing my mum used to send me to ballet lessons. A bittersweet pill I recall because while I disliked immensely ballet, I used to love the tap dance and jazz dance classes which followed. One of the reasons why I hated ba...
Aug 16 2010 7:04PM
Football at an arts festival? Comedians stand up for one of their own
I’m in the unusual position of being sunburned in Scotland, after spending yesterday at the Comedians vs Critics football match at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank stadium. The final scoreline was 3-2 to the comedians and both teams played their...
Aug 13 2010 4:24PM
Junta set a date- is it pre-emptive to buy a hat?
We have all been waiting to hear when the elections in Burma happen, since we were told they would take place by the end of 2010. The ruling Generals, who make up the junta, have been getting their house in order, introducing new legis...
Aug 12 2010 4:29PM
Bad television: the confession of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
Over the years I’ve watched some very bad television. Haven’t we all? And it’s become a commonplace to denounce “reality TV” as the worst (“nothing very real about most of it”, say the critics) and well, some of this now-dominant TV fo...
Aug 11 2010 4:50PM
Time for a Korea change, Gerrard?
I was delighted today, to see Steven Gerrard’s face emblazoned across the front page of the Guardian’s sports section , under the headline; “I’d boo as well”. I thought maybe it was some sort of pledge you just scribbled your name unde...
Aug 10 2010 2:46PM
The Khadr case: children go first
If you wanted to bring US justice into disrepute here’s an idea. Why not revisit the whole shabby business of “enemy combatants”? Go back to Guantánamo. Get the youngest inmate held there and put him on trial before a widely-discredite...
Aug 9 2010 3:23PM
The indelible stain on Rwanda
For several years any thought of Rwanda immediately invoked memories of the scenes of the brutal massacre of nearly 800,000 people in the space of 100 days. Cognisant of the imprint which the genocide has left on the country, Rwanda’s...
Aug 6 2010 2:07PM
8888 recurring
This Sunday, marks the anniversary of theinfamous 8/8/88 protests in Burma, wherein droves of people, many of themstudents, took to the streets of Rangoon to demand democracy. The peacefulprotests were brutally put down, by the ruling...
Aug 5 2010 1:14PM
Diamonds are a girl's best friend...
… Or so they say. I’m not too sure that Naomi Campbell – this morning at least – was thinking that as she stood to testify at Charles Taylor’s trial at The Hague about rough diamonds which the former Liberian President was alleged to h...
Aug 5 2010 12:57PM
Im a human fly and I dont know why .
One thing David Cameron and me have in common - probably the only thing - is that this week we’ve both been in Italy. OK, he’s been there to discuss the global economy, trade, and Afghanistan with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (ther...
Aug 4 2010 3:06PM
Reputation laundering? It will all come out in the wash.
What do Saudia Arabia, Rwanda, Russia, Sri Lanka and, er, Guernsey have in common? Okay, I’ll tell you; all feature on a map in today’s Guardian of “UK PR firms’ current contracts with foreign governments”. The thrust of the accompanyi...
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